Stuart Town's 'Ironbark' Festival to return with Gold Rush theme

The Cobb and Co stagecoach ferrying visitors to and fro during the 2018 festival. Photo: Elouise Hawkey.
The Cobb and Co stagecoach ferrying visitors to and fro during the 2018 festival. Photo: Elouise Hawkey.

Stuart Town is once again set to transform itself into a piece of history with the 'Man from Ironbark' festival returning on April 20.

Stuart Town, historically known as Ironbark, was featured in the Banjo Paterson poem that the festival borrows it's name from.

As part of the annual festival the town will be packed out with market stalls, food vendors and coffee vans for visitors to partake in while they watch the festivities play out.

According to the President of the Stuart Town Advancement Association Marcus Hanney, over a hundred stall holders are expected.

"We've got about one hundred and fifty stall holders, we expect about 5000 people or so, we've got great family activities throughout the day, it's a nice drive up on Burrendong way," Mr Hanney said.

"It's our annual festival, it turns a sleepy little town into a bustling metropolis, we're expecting a few thousand people to show up."

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The town's other historical landmarks will also get a look in with the Sydney Trains rail network holding an informational open day at the heritage-listed Stuart Town Railway station.

"Our history group will also do a re-enactment with the stagecoach again this year," Mr Hanney said.

The group, the Lachlan Living Heritage group, will re-enact historical events while the Cobb and Co Stagecoach will provide rides throughout the day.

"This year's theme is the gold rush, so we're also hosting a prospector's activity centre with programs for children, demonstrations, and they'll also be showing people how to pan for gold," Mr Hanney said. 

Camel rides will be another new addition this year, with organisers hoping to give the experience more of a unique flavour.

Although the day will begin at 9am for those interested, the customary Street Parade will kick off at 11am for those interested, featuring community designed floats, emergency vehicles and vintage cars.

"We do have different features each year, although the market stalls are more or less the same, although they're growing more and more each year," Mr Hanney said.

"We've been doing it for at least ten years, but even before that there's always been some sort of Easter activity."

"It's grown from about half a dozen stalls to what it is today. It was just a bunch of ladies in the community group who wanted to do something originally."

According to Mr Hanney, the Man from Ironbark is as much about the town's lifeblood and culture as it is it's past.

"It does attract a crowd of visitors from elsewhere, but we also get past residents who like to come home for the weekend and return for the festival," Mr Hanney said.

"We are Ironbark."